Big switch off

Announcement: PSTN Switch Off Delayed Until January 2027

BT Group Announcement: PSTN Switch Off Delayed Until January 2027. This extends the original timeline by 13 months from December 2025. The extension gives businesses more time to transition smoothly to IP-based alternatives.

Why the Delay?

BT highlighted its commitment to improving the switch-off program to protect vulnerable customers and those with additional needs, including telecare users. Recent tragic news concerning vulnerable customers affected by the switch-off influenced this decision.

BT’s trials in Salisbury and Mildenhall provided valuable insights. These trials showed challenges during the migration of disengaged end customers. They also emphasized the importance of communications providers’ commitment to the program. The trials revealed the need to reach and mobilize non-engaged providers. Proactively and safely migrating their customers off the legacy technology is crucial.

Migrating Customers from an Ageing Platform

It’s important to remember that the PSTN is nearing the end of its serviceable life. According to Ofcom’s Connected Nations UK Report 2023:

In 2023, PSTN incidents increased by 20%.
In 2023, customers on the PSTN lost 60% more hours.
These statistics underscore the urgency of transitioning to more reliable IP-based voice and data services. This move will help avoid further disruptions and service quality issues.

How Does This Affect Channel Partners?

Despite the extension, BT will continue switching off local telephone exchanges. Channel Partners should view this delay as an opportunity for a smoother transition for end customers. The goal remains the same: the eventual shutdown of the PSTN. Therefore, businesses should not delay their plans to upgrade to IP voice and data services.

Channel Partners now have more time to find new business opportunities. They can prioritize customer relationships and ensure a seamless migration for their existing customers.

Benefits of the PSTN Delay

The delay gives BT and other service providers more time to address gaps in fibre optic network coverage and reliability. This ensures a smoother transition for all businesses. Aligning with Openreach’s plan will provide gigabit-capable broadband to 25 million premises by the end of 2026. Nearly universal coverage by 2030 will improve connectivity, especially in rural areas.

A more gradual transition reduces the risk of service interruptions. It ensures that alternative solutions are in place to maintain business operations seamlessly.

Many Thanks,


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